Family Visit Appeal Rights

The UKBA are changing the appeal rights for refused family visit visa applications. This is being done, they say, to save money.

The Immigration Minister Damian Green says that they are not stopping anybody from visiting family in the UK (mmm) but it is unfair that the taxpayers have to cover the costs of the appeals. Though, no mention was made as to general poor quality decision making by the UKBA at the visa application stage, which is obviously the cause for many appeals. Instead, Green blames applicants for not preparing the applications properly.

The change will be included in the Crime and Courts Bill, and is expected to come into force by 2014. In the meantime, the UKBA intends to limit the rights of appeal for those applying to visit a cousin, uncle, aunt, niece or nephew. From July 2012 refused applicants will still be able to appeal on limited grounds of human rights or race discrimination. From July 2012 until 2014 those visiting a spouse, children, or parents will continue to have full appear rights.

The UKBA will also limit the rights of appeals for those visiting people with leave to remain other than indefinite leave, refugee status or humanitarian protection status.

We will keep abreast of these changes and update you as and when needed.

Closure of Tehran visa application centre: alternative arrangements

Due to ongoing tensions between the UK and Iran, the visa application centre at the British Embassy in Tehran is closed until further notice.

The UK Border Agency will be contacting visa applicants who submitted an application in Tehran up to 29 November 2011 (inclusive) who have not yet received decisions or updates on their case. All original documents should have been returned to visa applicants, if not further enquiries should be directed to the Iranian authorities (as the UK Border Agency would have returned them to the original issuing authority - how that works for refugee family reunion applications we do not know).

Iranian nationals wishing to submit an application for a visit visa only can do so at any visa application centre worldwide. Iranian nationals, who normally live in Iran, may submit applications for all visa categories at the following visa application centres in the UAE and Turkey:

United Arab Emirates - Dubai and Abu Dhabi
Turkey - Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Bursa and Gaziantep

Applications should still be submitted online and attendance at the visa application centres is by pre-booked online appointment only. It is mandatory for visa applicants in Turkey to pay for their applications online.

The UK Border Agency have said that it is not possible to process visa applications within their published customer service standards.

More when we have it.

Online Visa Applications

From 10 September 2011 all visa applications from the following countries must be made using the electronic online application system found at Visa4UK site:

  • Oman
  • Saudi Arabia

From 11 September 2011 the same applies for the following countries:

  • Bahrain
  • Qatar
  • Kuwait
  • United Arab Emirates

Paper applications will no longer be accepted.

English Language Requirement

Leading lawyers, Rabinder Singh QC and Aileen McColan, advising Liberty say that making spouses pass English language tests could be discriminatory and could amount to a breach of the right to family life under the Human Rights Act. They sight Read More...